This is an old revision of the document!

A power supply

Be careful, mains voltage is dangerous

Without power, your board can not do much. The board uses power to move stepper motors, and power heating elements, fans, and others.

How to choose a power supply unit (PSU) :

  • Voltage (V) : Can be from 12 to 24V. While most of the components on the Smoothieboard are rated up to 32V, it is not recommended or supported to use that voltage. 12V PSUs are more common, and generally cheaper. However, the higher the voltage, the more you will get out of your stepper motors. This is the reason some designers use 24V PSUs. However, be careful that with a 24V PSU, you will need 24V fans, and will need to reduce the PWM setting for your heating elements.
  • Current (A): The total current required is the current for each stepper motor, plus the current for every peripheral on your machine Smoothieboard will control. This depends on your machine type. On a typical 3D printer, you can safely consider that 10A for the heated bed, and 10A or a bit less for the rest of the elements, is enough current. Go for a 17 to 20A PSU if you have a heated bed. 7A to 10 is probably enough if you do not have a heated bed (or if you are setting up a CNC mill or a laser cutter). If you bought your machine as a kit, a PSU with appropriate current is most probably provided (or one is recommended). If building your machine yourself by self-sourcing, the documentation for the machine model will also most probably recommend a current rating. A power supply that is able to supply more current than is needed is not a problem. Having not enough current to drive your hot-end, heater bed, or motors is a problem.


Make sure you use a Regulated Power Supply, make sure you connect the ground wire for the mains to the power supply, and if it has a fan, make sure it has sufficient space around it to let air flow and cool it appropriately.

To wire the power supply unit to mains (wall AC power), make sure you connect the right colored wires to the right connectors on the PSU. The 3 connectors are “live”, “neutral” and “ground”. Color changes from cable to cable.
You can find charts for your specific country/cable on the internet, but the following colors are the most common:

Standard Load/live color Neutral color Earth color
US Black White Green
Europe Brown Light blue Yellow/Green

Once the wires connected to the PSU, make sure none of your computers is doing something important (like a system upgrade). In case something goes wrong, plug the PSU into a power strip with an on/off button. Then turn that button ON. If your house loses power, you did something wrong. If an LED illuminates on the PSU, everything is fine: unplug the PSU and continue.

If you are new to wiring, please check our how to wire guide.

Don't die

NEVER manipulate mains (220/110V) power wires while they are plugged into the wall plug. Unpleasantness and/or death are common consequences of not respecting this rule.

Ground your printer's frame by connecting it to the Earth terminal on your power supply. In the (unlikely) event that a power supply wire comes undone and touches the printer's frame, this will prevent you from getting an unpleasant and/or deadly shock.

Now that the PSU is getting mains power, your PSU is converting it into 12 or 24V power. You need to connect wires from it to the Smoothieboard to provide power.

The most important thing is to respect polarity : + goes to +, - goes to -. On the PSU, + terminals are indicated as +, V+, 12V+ or 24V+. Ground (-) terminals are indicated as -, V-, COM or GND.

On the Smoothieboard they are indicated simply as + and -.

By convention, black (sometimes brown) wires are used for ground, and red (sometimes orange, white or yellow) wires are used for power connections.

Once the wires are correctly connected, you can turn the PSU ON. If everything was done correctly, the red LED (marked VBB) on the Smoothieboard will light up brightly.

Be careful

If it does not, immediately turn the PSU off.

Check polarity, and check all the connections are strong and properly done.

When you turn the PSU on, make sure you are ready to immediately turn it back off.

Now that the board has power, you can use that power to move things!

Emergency stop

It is recommended you setup an emergency stop button on your machine, so that in case of a problem, you can easily and quickly turn the machine off. For information on how to do this, please read EmergencyStop.